Monday, August 31, 2009

Cameron Hotel - 1893

Marion was a busy town in 1893. Lead and Zinc mines in the Crittenden Springs area were being opened up and business men from out of state were coming to see the operations. Salesmen from different areas were coming to Marion to sell their wares.

Folks from other towns in Crittenden County would also come to Marion to do business and since travel was so hard and slow, many would just spend a few days in Marion rather than try to travel to and from their homes in one day.

The Cameron House was the place to stay, as you can see by the advertisement at the right. A first class Hotel, with Stable attached and a Barber shop, all available in the same location. A grand place to stay in 1893.

Hotel arrivals for Feb. 11, 1893 included:
  • J. B. Heart and W. G. Louis, Evansville Ind.
  • Charlie Teets, Weston, Ky.
  • W.N. Claggot, Louisville, Ky.
  • M. C. Givens, Providence, Ky.
  • S. T. Lamerok, Paducah, Ky.
  • Joseph Reeves, Mt. Vernon Ind.
  • J.J. Dollar, G. C. Dollar, J.K. Woodsides, A. H. Cardin all from Crittenden Co.
  • Harry Clement, Weston, Ky.
  • Joe Cassidy, Dycusburg, Ky.
  • Tom Wallace, Hurricane, Ky.
  • Bill Hill, and M. Baker, Fredonia, Ky.
  • H. McGoodwin, Princeton, Ky.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hayward Fishpond

Another piece of interesting history to share about the old Hayward Mansion and lawns. Located in the front lawn was a item that was very unique for our small rural town of Marion. It was a concrete fish pond. Many beautiful gold fish occupied this little pond. In the middle was a water fountain and benches sat around the pond so people could sit and enjoy the view.

During the 1950's when the house was serving as the hospital, this was a very special entertainment for the visitors to the hospital. To small children the gold fish were a magical thing to watch as they swam around the pond.
The fish pond lies empty and full of leaves and other people's litter today.

Marion's Lost Treasure

The former E. J. Hayward Mansion. Picture on the left is the front entrance, and picture on right is of the side entrance on N. Walker Street.

As I was out on one of my early morning picture taking jaunts I once again drove by the former Hayward family home, located on North Walker Street. Stopping and getting a closer look, one can see that we, as a community, have lost a one-of-a-kind treasure that could have graced our city for many years to come. I used to say "if I win the lottery, I want to renovate the old Hayward home to it's former glory." But as it stands now, it would probably cost close to 2 million dollars to do this.

The history of this building is as follows:
  • E. J. Hayward, a prominent business man of Marion had this home built for his family in the year 1904. It was to be a type of colonial built home with buff brick, white mortar and stone trimmings. The roof would be of black slate. The cornices and corners are finished in store effect and are sufficiently large to break the line of the roof in a pleasing manner.
  • The porches are all of stone with stone steps and buttresses with artificial stone steps. The columns to the porches are also of solid stone. The entrances to the resident are protected by porches giving access at front and sides through vestibules entered directly into the front and side halls.
  • The rear entrance is through a vestibule into the kitchen. The entrance to the cellar is from the outside and also from the side hall.
  • The main hall or reception room in 14x35 feet, located in the center of the building and forms a large sitting room as well as giving access to stairs, side hall parlors, library, dining room and breakfast room
  • The Library is on the left of hall as you enter and occupies the front part of the house being 15x19 feet in the clear with connecting sliding doors into hall and reception hall.
  • The parlor is 15x15 on the opposite side of the reception hall, finished off in white with gold trimmings.
  • The dining room is at the rear of the reception hall on the left and is 17x19 feet circular at one side, forming a bay window. The combination of rooms allow an opportunity of throwing the parlor, reception hall, side hall, library and dining room into one large room for reception purposes.
  • The second floor has five large bed rooms, bath room, linen closet and den. The attic is one large room plastered and floored making a large playroom for the children, with light and ventilation from four sides.

The Hayward family lived here until 1915, they sold the house and relocated from the city of Marion. In 1921 the Marion Board of Education bought this home and renovated it to make it usable as the city High School. It served as a high school from 1921 until 1938.

In 1943 it was purchased for the purposed of being Marion and Crittenden County's first, and much needed, hospital. The building was once again renovated and made usable as a hospital. It housed the local hospital until 1972.

Since that time it has sit empty, with staircases and fixtures being stolen or sold. As each day goes by the honorable old building decays more. This old building has served it's community well, first as a stately home to a loving family, then a notable school for educating our young people, and last a much needed hospital for the care of our citizens. What a shame it has to end its life of service in this manner.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Crittenden's Covered Bridge

The old covered bridge that used to span Crooked Creek. It was located a few miles from Marion on the Fords Ferry Road. It has been a landmark for nearly a century. As the years went by it lost it's cover and the covering on the sides, but it never lost its prestige.

In the horse and buggy days it was a shelter from rain; a trysting place; a place to cut names; to carve images, cut dates, and a place to post local notices of speakings, when political candidates made stump speeches, and any events that were to take place in Marion.

A story about the bridge was told by Mrs. Lillie Gilbert in 1954. One night in October 1875, during a torrential rainfall, a son was being born to the wife of James M. Gilbert. A neighbor was sent to Marion, several miles distant, on horseback to get a doctor. During the late hours of night, being guided only by lightning and the intuition of his horse he reached the Covered Bridge. The creek was rolling high and rapidly. He got about half way across the bridge when it pulled lose from its mooring. He held to the saddle and the horse swam back to the same side on which he entered the bridge. The baby son, Ben Gilbert, lived to be quite a financier for his day and an outstanding farmer.
In 1940 there wasn't much left of the old covered bridge, it had a tin roof but most of the side planks were gone. On Nov. 11th, 1940 a severe windstorm struck the county and blew down the familiar landmark and so Crittenden County lost it's only covered bridge.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hebron Church

Hebron Church was located about 12 miles from Marion on Hwy. 91 North. This is the way the church looked in 1975 when the church had to close its doors due to lack of support and membership.

In the beginning Hebron Methodist Church was located close to the school. The church came into being following a tent revival held near Dunn Springs on what was then known as the Jeff Love place.

Following the revival Lewis J. Daughtrey and his wife, Narcissa, deeded an acre of ground of their farm to the following Trustees of the newly formed Hebron Methodist Church: William D. Williams, L. J. Daughtrey, J. W. Sleamaker, R. C. Flanary, Wesley Watson, R. Williams, Z. T. Terry and James Love.

On Nov. 8th, 1896, the Methodists dedicated their new church at Hebron. The name was chosen because it was a Biblical name. The church was a neat frame building. A large crowd was in attendance and a collection more than sufficient to pay the indebtedness was readily raised. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. S. K. Breeding. Dinner was served on the ground, and it was a great occasion for the neighborhood.

This church served the community until April 3, 1938 when it was completely destroyed by fire. A prayer meeting was in progress when the fire was discovered and as a result all of the contents were able to be saved.

The commuity lost no time in constructing a new church building. On June 2, 1940 the newly constructed Hebron Methodist Church was dedicated at the noon hour. Trustees of the Hebron Church were I.W. Cook, E. T. Franklin, and Ed Cook.

The Hebron Church held services, revivals, and fellowship gatherings for many years. In closed about 1975 and sat empty for several years until it was sold to a family in the 1980's. Today it has been turned into a family dwelling. Although you wouldn't recognize it once being a house of worship. It has been transformed by being painted several different colors.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Spreading The Word About Livingston's County New History Book

The picture at the right is of the Livingston County Log cabin located at Smithland, Kentucky. It houses many research records in their reference library. As you know, Crittenden County was created from a part of Livingston County in January 1842, so most of our early records are located in Livingston County. Many of our early pioneer families have roots in each of these counties today.

To help collect and preserve this history and family genealogy for future generations the Livingston County History and Genealogical Society is working on a Volume II History and Pictorial book. Please consider contributing to this worthwhile cause. Don Foster, a member of both counties Genealogy Societies shares the following information.

  • The Livingston County Historical & Genealogical Society is working on their new Livingston County Kentucky, Family History Book, Volume 2, and are requesting family histories, stories, and photos for inclusion from anyone who has family roots in Livingston County (or areas that were once encompassed as part of Livingston County). All submissions are welcome, even reworked versions of histories published in the 1990 Volume 1 book. A September 30th deadline has been set for getting them in.

    You do not have to purchase a book to be included, but they will be available if you decide you want one. You can leave your submissions at the “Log Cabin” in Smithland, or mail them to: The Livingston Co. Historical & Genealogical Society, P. O. Box 138, Smithland, KY 42081. If you have any questions or would like to receive an informational flyer, call Mary Lou Smith at the Log Cabin at (270) 928-4656 between 1:00 and 4:00 Monday-Friday.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Old Marion Cemetery

This old cemetery is located on the corner of Highway 60 West and Moore Street. At right is the new sign placed at the cemetery, and to the far right is the stone of George Witherspoon, almost completed grown over by the giant old tree.

This cemetery was the first burial place for the early citizens of Marion, in fact before Crittenden County was broken off from Livingston County.

The first burial we have recorded was for Mary Elder Mayes, who died of cholera, July 18, 1833. The next person was Margaret Wilson, who died Nov. 1833. Mary Elder Mayes does not have a stone today. Over the years it has either been stolen, broken or is lost somewhere under the grass and soil.

Margaret Wilson, who died Nov. 1833 still has a stone. There is a mystery of who Margaret is, some of us think that it is possibly Margaret Travis that was married to John M. Wilson. But nothing to prove this has ever been found. John N. Travis, also a member of this same Travis family has a tombstone here, his stone reads - John N. Travis, Co. H. 20 KY Inf. I have oftened wondered if at some time these two stones were removed from their original location in the Piney Fork area and placed at this location for some reason. Nothing to prove this, just a feeling.

Also buried in the Old Marion Cemetery are many of Marion's founding fathers and pioneer family members. John S. Gilliam and his wife Nancy, who built Marion's first log house in 1840, and also donated the land for our courthouse. Their stones have also disappeared over the years.

Major Berry S. Young, County Clerk, from 1851-1866, and also Paymaster US Volunteers is buried here. He has a stone standing today, other members of his family are also buried here.

John D. Gregory and Robert Hill, both were first Justices of the Peace, chosen in the first court meeting of the newly formed Crittenden County in 1842.

The W. C. Carnahan family has a burial plot inside an ornate iron fence. Mr. Carnahan was one of Marion's first pioneer businessmen; other things he did included being a town trustee in 1855 and sheriff in 1866.

The picture of the stone being over taken by the tree belongs to George Witherspoon, a member of the first county court, and a member of the 1st grand jury impaneled in the newly formed Crittenden County. George's stone reads - Born 1776, Died March 16, 1844. Martha his wife is also buried here. She also have a marker, it reads Died Nov. 19, 1843 in her 63rd year.

These are only a few of the historic old stones that are in this cemetery.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thomas Jefferson Yandell's Home

The home of Thomas Jefferson Yandell sits just down the street from his brother, W. B. Yandell's, house, at 320 East Bellville St.
This house was built in the early 1900's and in August 1909 Thomas Yandell was beautifying his home by adding rooms in the front and raising the floors on solid brick foundation.
(This picture was made in October 2008.)

T. J. Yandell was born in Crittenden County in 1859 and was a life long resident of the county. He married Katie Franklin on Jan. 19, 1887.

Mr. Yandell's knowledge of banking and financial affairs caused his judgment to be followed and adhered to by all. He was a leader in all civic and community enterprises and movements, giving unselfish support to any program in which he was involved.

Mr. Yandell died Sept. 8, 1934. His death was unexpected as he was seen about on the streets of Marion just the preceding day.

Mr. Yandell's wife, Kate, died within a few short weeks of her husband, on Oct. 17th, 1934. Both are buried in Mapleview Cemetery.

Monday, August 3, 2009

William B. Yandell Home

The William B. Yandell home located on East Bellville Street, built in 1895.

In the early 1890's Marion was growing and several new beautiful homes were being built by Marion's business men. East of the business district of the town, on East Bellville Street, was one of the first area's being opened up to built homes.

W. B. Yandell married Miss Florence Pierce in Jan. 1885 and soon after they had their beautiful home designed and built in 1895.

W. B. Yandell was born and reared in Crittenden County and his entire lifetime was spent in the county and city. He was born in the Frances community April 14, 1857, son of John A. and Margaret Yandell. He was a leader in commercial and civic life in Marion, operating a large mercantile establishment in connection with Sam Guggenheim. He was also a leader in the Republican party and occupied various positions with the party. He was a leader in the First District and also in the entire state. He died in Nov. 1940 in an Evansville hospital and is buried in the Mapleview Cemetery.

This home is still beautiful today. The picture above was made in Oct. of 2008.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Tolu News of May 1905

From the local correspondent of the river town of Tolu comes some interesting news. The paper is dated May 12, 1905.
  • The river is now over much of the low bottoms, but falling some.
  • Mrs. Harry Stone, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Stone, of our community, died last Friday at 6:30 p.m. She was nineteen years of age, had suffered with consumption since first of January 1905. She leaves, besides a husband, one little daughter twenty months old, a mother, father, one brother and one sister. Wathen, as she was called, was a good sweet girl, loving and kind. The bereaved have our sympathy in their great sorrow. Bro. Givens preached the funeral at Hurricane Church on Saturday.
  • Sunday was foot washing day at Pleasant Hill Church, and there must have been 800 or 1,000 people on the ground. Basket dinner was served. We must confess that while these humble people wear no silks nor ride in rubber tired buggies, they show a higher percent of true Christianity than in commonly found in these parts.
  • Mr. Kay Kevil has been in our midst for three or four days. He is surveying the Foster Threlkeld woodland on the E/town road. It will be cut up into several tracts and sold to the highest bidder.
  • Fred Myers and his mother went to Evansville Monday to have Mrs. Myers eyes treated by a specialist.
  • Born to the wife of George Gass, an eight pound girl.